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This article was originally published in issue #61
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In the hand, the headphones feel surprisingly light. There are lots of nice details, the ear cups are hinged to allow for compact storage and there is a pleasantly reassuring snap when pulled into position. As you would expect there is a nice combination of premium plastics, fabric and metal.
fantastic audio clarity
Buttons feel a little cheap
Driver unit: 40mm
Bluetooth Version: 4.0
Music Play Time: 14 Hours
Audio and Comfort
No carry case, considering the price point.
Bluetooth Frequency band: 2.402GHz-2.480GHz
Charging Time: 1.5 hours
Playback Time: 4-6 hours
Continuing on from our look at Floyd Rose's FR-18 Wood headphones in the last issue of Guitar Interactive Magazine, Daniel Le Gresley continues his review of the Floyd Rose headphone range with the Floyd Rose FR-36BK Bluetooth Headphones and the FR-360 Pro Series Wireless Sport Earbuds.
Take a ride on any London Underground train in 2018 and you'll see lots of people walking around with their Beats, Skull Candy or Bose hardware, invisibly connected to their phones via the alchemy of Bluetooth. The Floyd Rose FR-36BK fit into this new marketplace with ease. From within the premium, quality packaging appears a familiar clamshell black case. Its reinforced fabric and plastic composition are secured with a heavy duty zip. Manufacturers have come a long way in the presentation department and if the packaging is anything to go by these Floyd Rose FR-36KB's seem to be placed in the mid-priced but premium sector.
Pulling on the zip reveals the FR-36's nestled inside the clam, a small netted compartment at the top holds the charging cable and a mono lead for wired use. The instruction is clear and simple and the addition of the NFC interfacing option offers welcome connection simplicity. In the hand, the headphones feel surprisingly light. There are lots of nice details, the ear cups are hinged to allow for compact storage and there is a pleasantly reassuring snap when pulled into position. As you would expect there is a nice combination of premium plastics, fabric and metal. However, at this price point, the operation buttons feel cheap, the haptics is too soft for my taste. Apart from that small detail, the build quality is solid.
Holding down the main button for 2 seconds powers up the headphones and with a simple tap of my phone, the Bluetooth connection options appear. To wear, the headphones feel very comfortable and the lightness that I had questioned earlier now makes more sense. You could use these for the commute and for long journeys with ease.
Now for the real test, how do they sound? Like their build quality, they sound solid, there is enough bass for my taste and even though they are not noise cancelling, they feel loud and bright with little distortion even at full volume. Floyd Rose opted for a 40 mm driver which offers a comfortable low-end response but may feel a little light for some genres. The FR-36's are billed as Pro series but the studio is not their natural home. I gave the cans to a producer friend of mine and he could detect some fizzing between 6-8K and too much low frequency between 300 - 600k. I suspect, however, that these headphones are not intended for this environment.
Ultimately the Floyd Rose FR-36K's are a very solid pair of headphones. I lived with them for over a week and had no issues with Bluetooth, the battery life is good, I was using them all day with no issues. The sound will be perfect for most and the build quality and styling is appealing to the eye and touch. Floyd rose are in a very crowded sector but if you are in the market for mid-priced premium headphone they're worth a look.
The next edition to the Floyd Rose family of headphones is the FR-360 Pro Series. Where the FK-36BK are pitched to the commuter market these in-ear buds are meant to temp the active amongst us. As manufacturers increasingly remove the headphone socket from devices, having a compact and robust set of sports headphones is important. If you've ever made the mistake of taking your Beats Studios Mk1 to the gym you'll know that it makes for an uncomfortable experience!
The FR-360's are both sweat and water resistant, have a tangle-free cord and offer around 5 hours of battery life. The premium packing continues, with a more vibrant and youthful feel. Open up the book fold case and the first thing you'll notice is the addition of a 1800mAh power bank, which is a very smart move given the limited battery life of these style of headphones. The credit card sized power bank will easily fit in your pocket and gives welcome peace of mind.
Bluetooth connection is simple and the FR-360's are very comfortable in operation. The design of the saddles has clearly been thought through. They sit around the ears ergonomically and even when in the midst of a full gym session there is little movement and rubbing. The buds themselves sit in the ear well and the additional ear tips offer all consumers some customisation. The sound is crisp and clear, there is minimal distortion at high volume and there is a surprising amount of bass. When I A/B tested against my traditional apple headphones I could hear a clear difference in quality.
The FR360's are an excellent addition to the lineup, offering great audio in a compact, lightweight and comfortable form. They are not for the audiophile, some of the highs feel a little harsh at times but for day to day sports activity comfort is just as important and you easily forget you are wearing them.